Philosophical Theology for Mormons : Some Suggestions from an Outsider
Element : A Journal of Mormon Philosophy and Theology
Spring & Fall 2007
The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology
In this paper I want to ask what philosophical theology might be able to do for Latter-day Saints. I will begin with a discussion of what philosophy is and how it contrasts with theology. Then I will describe what philosophical theology is and what it typically can do for faith communities, especially Christian ones. Then I will suggest four issues in contemporary Mormon thought where, as it seems to me (an interested outsider), philosophical theology might be of some help. It is hardly my place to suggest how Mormons ought to deal with the issues that I will raise. But I do want to recommend that some of those who engage in the emerging discipline of Mormon philosophical theology ought to try to do so. Finally, I will argue that Mormons can benefit from systematic theology, despite Mormonism's traditional aversion to it.